Windows 10 Upgrade Will be Free For Pirates and Available this Summer

Microsoft recently announced that its latest operating-system, the long anticipated Windows 10, will be a free upgrade for anyone running Windows 7 and Windows 8.1. While that alone is an impressive move, what they didn’t mention until now is that they will also be free for anyone, worldwide, including pirates.



While speaking to Reuters from the WinHEC conference in China, Microsoft’s operating-chief Terry Myserson was quoted saying “We are upgrading all qualified PCs, genuine and non-genuine, to Windows 10.”  This is no doubt a move to strengthen their install base in China, and re-engage with their market there. Back in 2011, then CEO of Microsoft, Steve Balmer estimated only 10 percent of users in China were paying for legitimate licenses for Microsoft software.

In a conversation with ZDNet’s Ed Bott, Microsoft has since confirmed that the free upgrade path will be available to all pirates worldwide, not just those in China.


Microsoft has since clarified their original statement, while all non-genuine users will in fact be able to upgrade to Windows 10, this will not change the non-genuine status of their license. In other words, a pirated copy of Windows updated to Windows 10 will still be a pirated copy of Windows.

Microsoft’s Full Statement:

The consumer free upgrade offer for Windows 10 applies to qualified new and existing devices running Windows 7, Windows 8.1 and Windows Phone 8.1. Some editions are excluded from the consumer free upgrade — including Windows 7 Enterprise, Windows 8/8.1 Enterprise, and Windows RT/RT 8.1. Active Software Assurance customers in volume licensing have the benefit to upgrade to other Windows 10 enterprise offerings.

“We have always been committed to ensuring that customers have the best Windows experience possible. With Windows 10, although non-Genuine PCs may be able to upgrade to Windows 10, the upgrade will not change the genuine state of the license. Non-Genuine Windows is not published by Microsoft. It is not properly licensed, or supported by Microsoft or a trusted partner. If a device was considered non-genuine or mislicensed prior to the upgrade, that device will continue to be considered non-genuine or mislicensed after the upgrade. According to industry experts, use of pirated software, including Non-Genuine Windows, results in a higher risk of malware, fraud (identity theft, credit card theft, etc), public exposure of your personal information, and a higher risk for poor performance or feature malfunctions.”


Microsoft has also recently announced that Windows 10 will be released sometime this summer, launching in over 190 countries and in 111 languages. This is a bold move indeed, as it gives the company no more than about six months to deliver the OS. It also an incredibly smart one, as it means Windows 10, and all its new launch devices will be available in time for back-to-school, which is when the majority of students will be in the market for a new device.

Windows 10 - Product Family

Let’s not forget that Windows 10 is a multi-device platform, made for desktops, laptops, tablets, smartphones and more. This means, that with its summer release, we should also see a variety of new hardware, including Microsoft’s own Surface Pro 4 and new flagship Lumia devices, not to mention countless other tablets, convertibles, and ultrabooks from their partners which will no doubt be running Intel’s latest Broadwell processors.

No word yet on the actual date of launch, but we’ll be following this story closely, and will provide updates and additional information as we receive it.

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